Ohio State’s Devin Smith is multitalented

There’s a number of players worth monitoring into tonight’s National Championship game between Oregon and Ohio State. Arik Armstead (DL, Oregon) has the length Seattle loves (6-8, 290lbs) and the run defending skills to warrant some attention. He’s not a flashy pass-rusher, but he’s a really solid defender on a team loaded with speed and dynamism. Jake Fisher (T, Oregon) and Taylor Decker (T, Ohio State) have the same length but on the offensive side of the ball. There’s been some talk Decker might make a surprise declaration, while Fisher is heading to the draft as a senior.

It’s impossible to ignore prospective first overall pick Marcus Mariota (QB, Oregon), while Michael Bennett (DT, Ohio State) is running out of opportunities to show why he was once so highly rated.

But my focus will remain on Devin Smith (WR, Ohio State). An electric downfield threat. A gritty, competitive and skilled receiver who just makes big plays. He high points the ball, he plays with spirit and just looks like the type of guy Seattle likes. He’s a potential X-factor who warrants serious consideration in round one or round two. According to Buckeye’s coach Urban Meyer, he might be especially appealing to Seattle:

“He’s the best gunner, and the great thing is the Bill Belichicks of the world, NFL coaches, his stock is soaring right now… It’s because he catches the ball, but that’s No. 2, because he’s one of the best gunners in college football.”

Belichick’s not the only one who likes a good gunner. Seattle makes special teams a priority — and it’s a unit that hasn’t lived up to expectations this season. The current gunner, Ricardo Lockette, is a free agent in the off-season. He has as many bone-headed penalties as big offensive plays this year. He’s no lock to be on the roster for 2015. Adding an X-factor with genuine speed — especially in light of Paul Richardson’s latest ACL injury — will make all the more sense if the player can contribute as a special teams demon (gunner AND potential returner).

Another key for Seattle? Like Kevin Norwood last year, he maxes out limited targets. He can have an impact in a game where they only throw his way 2-3 times. That’s big.

It’s something else to consider when we debate the pro’s and con’s of Smith’s game. Keep an eye on him tonight and feel free to use this as an open thread later on.

EDIT — Sounds like Richardson’s knee injury is particularly troublesome:


  1. Cysco

    Looking forward to the game and looking forward to watching Smith.

    If he could become a special teams star and contributes to the passing game, you have to consider him in round 1 IMO, especially given PRich’s injury situation.

  2. kyle

    I still think we need to look at running back as a serious issue. Gurley or Gordon should be our first round pick. Maybe move up in the second to get someone like Smith. But we need an excellent running back to run our system. Wide receiver is an afterthought if marshawn is uncertain of returning.

    • Rob Staton

      I wholeheartedly agree if Lynch departs — but getting at Gordon or Gurley could be the hard part. They could both easily go in the top-25.

  3. David Moore

    I loved this guy in the Sugar Bowl.

  4. peter

    …Gurley may not even be ready to start the season…i love Gurley but I think for the way Seattle runs its offense Smith would be the perfect fit that and a crappy crop of WR’s this year I think pushes him into the first round. The RB situation is going to be pretty crappy next year if Lynch goes.

    • TwistedChopper

      If Lynch leaves we aren’t in dire need of a RB. No matter what, when Lynch leaves there will be a drop off of production at this spot (even for a great talent like Gurley who might take a few years). Lynch is truly a once in a generation type of runner and I don’t use that term lightly. Turbin has shown improvements this year and we are starting to get a bit more of a clear picture on what Michael can bring and I am not thrilled with those two being our running back by committee next year (along with probably one other guy), but I’m not panicked either.

  5. Cysco

    If the decision i to go RB and Gurley is there, I think you take him (assuming his medicals check out) I would be ok going into the season with a RBBC of Turbin Michael. I don’t think it’s the long-term solution but it would work for a bit.

    I can’t see Gordon being available, and frankly if the medicals check out, gurley is probably long gone too.

    If a RB isn’t there, a WR like Smith could make sense given the likely need of WR depth and the dual purpose of special teams.

    Lockett has made too many big mistakes this season and I don’t think he’l be back.

  6. Johnny

    Doesn’t have the profile of the big frame a lot of fans were looking for but he’s certainly an elite WR prospect.

    Dez Bryant is only 6’2 yet he high points the ball better than anyone else in the NFL. It’s not all about physical height; vertical leap and arm length also play a big role in determining if a receiver can make those “jump ball” catches that people like Rice was capable of making.

    If he’s available at the bottom of the first round, I wouldn’t be opposed to the ‘Hawks pulling the trigger. I do think the WR position is one that just jumped to the top of the “need” list after Richardson’s ACL tear. Two tears in the same knee doesn’t bode well, but lesser players with the same situation have came back before.

    As of now, the Seahawks receivers are all UDFA. As much as I love ADB and Kearse, sooner rather than later, the ‘Hawks are going to have to start hitting on first round receiver talent. With the possibility of Lynch retiring, the Seahawks might have to start passing more until they can find their next feature back. I’m completely confident in Wilson’s ability to carry the offense after seeing the Carolina game. Let’s find the guy some legit weapons.

  7. Seanmatt

    Isn’t Lockette an ERFA next year? That’s how he’s listed at Spotrac.

  8. MJ

    Rob – Great stuff per usual. Ever since you starting promoting the name “Devin Smith,” I have started to watch a bunch of stuff on him.

    And yes, I’m actually going to be shocked if he’s not a Seahawk. He’s the type of athlete and personality that they seem to love. His interviews are very impressive. Comes across very well spoken, driven, and confident. He actually reminds me a bit of Doug Baldwin, albeit without the same aura of negativity (during interviews). Really excited about this guy and quite honestly, if he played in a more passing heavy offense, I think he’d be talked about as a top 20 lock. He is very similar to OBJ, but give a little more length and take away the preternatural route running ability.

    Side note: OBJ…wow. It’s too bad the NFL is too good at scouting and couldn’t let him fall to us. He’d be absolutely perfect on this team. I’m just glad he went to a team with a good QB, so he can showcase what he is able to do.

    I think he is a dynamite fit for this team and it’s abundantly clear that WR, is now a top priority going forward. For

    • Cysco

      OBJ. No doubt. He was my favorite WR entering the draft last year.

      Props to Rob for really talking him up last season as well as a number of other players that have performed really good their first year.

      • TwistedChopper

        He wasn’t my favorite WR last year (I was a big fan of big Mike Evans and of course dynamic Sammy Watkins), but I like you was super high on him and was very surprised by the national pundits lack of buzz on him. Obviously the NFL GM’s are better at their jobs than the Mel Kiper’s of the world (that’s why they are employed) and he went top 15 and lit the league on fire.

        Rob has a great track record here, but I would say part of that is these players going to the right team. If OBJ was drafted by the Jets, he’d be decent, but definitely wouldn’t have put up the numbers that he did this year on the Giants.

    • Rob Staton

      There is actually some cross over from OBJ to Smith. That’s the scary thing here. And like Smith/Ohio State, I don’t think LSU ever made the most of OBJ’s quality. That’s not to say Smith is going to be as good, that’ll be very difficult. But they are similar athletes IMO. It’s just a shame Smith doesn’t have insanely big hands too.

  9. TwistedChopper

    Sorry if this isn’t exactly what people want to talk about on the SEAHAWKS draft blog, but I will be spending a lot of time watching Mariota this game even though he’s not a need for the Seahawks or even remotely likely to be available when they pick.

    Right now there seems to be a really big split between the “Mariota is a surefire star and should be #1 overall” and “Mariota’s skills don’t translate and he’s a product of the system”. This is much different from the general outlook on Winston which is “dude is a bust”.

    Right now I’m right in the middle on Mariota though. Being a Pac 12 guy I’ve watched a ton of his games and walk away incredibly impressed. The UW game this year was completely dominated by Mariota and there are a lot of good players on the Husky D (although they didn’t always play like it). At times he is the only reason why Oregon is winning games, however at other times (like the 1st half of the this years Rose Bowl) he makes you question everything you thought you knew about him.

    I just wanted to get the SDB general opinion on Mariota – where he should get drafted, what his strengths/weaknesses are, and do you think he’ll be successful if he goes to a crap team (e.g. NY Jets).

    My personal opinion is that he definitely has the talent to be successful in today’s NFL. He has the speed to make plays with his legs and has enough arm strength to get the ball down the field. If he does well it in this game it’ll also show he has some big game poise that is so clear in guys like Russell Wilson. However, I believe that if he goes to certain teams he’ll be a bust. He needs a system built around him to hide his weaknesses and boost his strengths. Think RG3’s rookie year. If he doesn’t get this and has issues such as a porous offensive line I can see him going down the path more like Blaine Gabbert. A guy who looks to have all the measurables, but turns out to just be awful.

    • Phil

      I think you hit the nail on the head in your last paragraph. Mariota can be a star for a team that will mold their offense to fit his strengths. But, if he’s drafted by a team who thinks they can “teach” him to become a traditional drop-back, pocket-passer, then I think he will be considered a failure.

    • Rob Staton

      Feel free to talk Mariota TwistedChopper — all draft topics are welcome. I think you’re right — he’s somewhere in the middle of ‘surefire #1 pick’ and ‘might not work’. I think he will need a creative coordinator or scheme that can accentuate his athleticism and play ball control. AKA — Seattle style offense. Anyone who tries to force him into being a pocket passer and makes him air it out is going to be bitterly disappointed. If you want to be conventional and can trust the guy — take Jameis. If you want to mimic the Seahawks and to an extent the Niners with Kaepernick, take Mariota.

  10. Radman

    we have disagreed on some WRs before, Rob, but on this one we agree. Unfortunately I don’t think he’ll make it through the mid 20’s in the first round and would require a move up, which I don’t want the Seahawks to do.

    I think they’ll find 2 WRs worthy of selection in this draft, though.

    • TwistedChopper

      I think it helps the Seahawk’s that most teams pick 20 and after won’t necessarily be targeting a WR with their pick and have a lot of other needs to fill.

      20. Eagles – they could target a WR, but Maclin had a big year and Matthews the rookie stepped up big time as well. I think it’s more likely they focus somewhere else.

      21. Bengals – A bit hard to say because honestly I haven’t watched a lot of the Bengals this year (except when they were on prime time when they usually looked bad across the board). I still doubt WR will be considered a big need heading into the draft though with AJ Green and getting decent production from a middling Sanu. Definitely wouldn’t rule it out though.

      22. Steelers – I think it’s very unlikely they go WR here. Antonio Brown is one of the best WR in the league and they got good (although a bit inconsistent) production out of Martavious Bryant and Wheaton. All these guys are pretty young and should develop, so I really think they target other areas at this spot.

      23. Detroit Lions – WR definitely doesn’t look like a big need here. Decent year from Megatron, but most of that was because he was hurt. Tate had great production in Johnson’s absence and is a solid #2. There really isn’t a 3rd guy (they prob want that to be the TE Ebron), but not sure if they invest even more capital into WR when there are so many other issues here.

      24. Cardinals – A lot here depends on if Fitzgerald is still on the team come draft time. If he is I don’t think this will be a big priority because Floyd and Brown and both coming into their own and can both be big play guys like Bruce Arians wants. Not sure why the Cards would invest more in WR here when they need to improve their run game so much more and to possibly start finding a replacement to Palmer. If Fitz is gone though (which I think is unlikely), maybe they do look for one here.

      25. Panthers – this is probably the most likely candidate up to this point to draft a WR. Lil’ Beast Benjamin was definitely a good draft pick last year, but they had problems all year at the #2 spot, and even Benjamin wasn’t consistent at times last year. Cotchery was their 2nd most productive WR and he’s not long for this league at his age (and the fact he wasn’t that great to begin with). Greg Olson stepped up in the passing game with a career year though.

      26. Ravens – not entirely sure what to think here, but assuming that Steve Smith is back for another year I think that might lessen the need to draft a WR. Torrey Smith has been a tease his whole career, but never seems ready to break through to be more than a deep threat type of guy. I can see them going WR here even if Smith stays especially because they’ll want to keep giving their golden boy Flacco weapons, but they do have other needs to consider as well (running game, secondary).

      27. Cowboys – They’ll resign Dez Bryant, no doubt about it. This means that they’ll probably need to let Murray go though which might create some trouble for the running game as Randle doesn’t really seem to be a feature back. The Cowboys seem desperate to go all out to try to get Romo a championship which might mean getting him more weapons in the passing game, but after the 360 they did this year shifting to the run game, I find it way more likely that they focus on that aspect (especially after putting a lot of money into Bryant) as well as some big wholes on the defense.

      28. Broncos – I have even more confidence the Broncos will resign Demaryhorse (inside joke) Thomas than the Cowboys will sign Dez Bryant. Not to mention their investment in Emmanual Sanders really paid off this past year. Welker is likely not much of an impact player anymore, but I just don’t see the Broncos going WR here. They are desperate just like the Cowboys to get their aging QB a(nother) Super Bowl ring, and I think the way they do that is targeting their bigger weak spots like running the football. Who knows though, they might just put all the eggs in the passing basket and get yet another target for Peyton Manning here.

      29-31: Packers, Colts, Patriots – Packers probably won’t get a WR here. Devante Adams their rookie last year stepped up recently and they already have Nelson and Cobb as well. Their passing game is already elite, so to me it makes more sense getting tougher on defense.

      The Colts could likely go WR here especially with Wayne getting old and less of a threat. TY Hilton isn’t a proven #1 and I’m sure the Colts will want to put as many targets out there for Luck as possible. However, they are a below average defense that could definitely use more talent as well.

      The Patriots are also in need of a true #1 wide receiver. They have been for years now! It’s been since Randy Moss since we’ve probably been able to say they have a true #1 receiver, but they are able to get by with guys like Edelman and Welker and good receiving TE’s. I definitely wouldn’t put it past the Patriots to draft a WR here though.

      Overall, there are teams in the 20’s that I can see targeting a WR in round 1, but out of the bunch only the Panthers are Patriots really stand out as big time needs for the team. I do realize that needs aren’t everything and that most teams will always say “they draft based off best available, not need”, but I still feel like the way the board as turned out, it might be a good year for some good WR’s to fall a bit based off teams passing on them to grab guys at other positions.

      • Cameron

        Of those teams I think the most likely team to draft a WR is Baltimore. Torrey Smith is a FA and their 2015 will already be tight (thank you Joe Flacco) so he may be a goner. Devin Smith would be an ideal replacement.

        I don’t see BB taking a WR in round 1. Hasn’t done it yet. Just look at his WR’s and how he’s acquired them (later rounds, FA, and UDFA) to see what pedigree he’s looking for.

        I also don’t see the Panthers going back to the well for a WR, not when they already drafted their #1 and have multiple holes to fill the defensive secondary (see playoff game vs. Seahawks).

        • TwistedChopper

          I agree with your point about BB not taking a WR in round one. Just like running back, it seems like he’s pretty confident putting “average” guys out there to get great production for a cheap price (reminds me a bit of Cable’s OLine mentality). However, he doesn’t seem like a guy who just writes off certain position groups when it comes to the big board.

          It’ll be interesting to see if the Ravens resign Torrey Smith and how much exactly a guy like that will command. I do think WR will obviously become a huge priority if they don’t resign him.

          The Panthers will be interesting. I don’t think they really look at returning to the well as a bad thing considering the first trip there worked out pretty well and it’s still an area of need on the team. The secondary is also a big need like you point out. Probably will all depend on how the board falls. It’s not a great draft for corners and safeties, so would they be willing to reach for one?

          • Radman

            well, let’s see how free agency unfolds before we get too invested in predicting anything

      • Cysco

        Good Lord Chopper. Hell of a post. Nice work!

        • Rob Staton

          Agreed nice post.

  11. Jarhead

    I may be incorrect, but isn’t the Ohio State starting QB the genius who said “I ain’t here to play school”? I might be thinking of someone else but this article made me think of watching and evaluating future pro prospects and it just makes me shake my head. I can just imagine some real class act like that leading an NFL franchise one day. It is like he took the words right out of RW’s mouth… So Rob what is your take on all these modern college ‘one read-bubble screen-glorified RBs’ that you see at the helm of so many Power 5 football programs? They can’t POSSIBLY teanslate to the pros but they are at every major school it seems. Do you see the NFL devolving with them just because it so much easier to run a one read screen game with these guys in college? I mean gee whiz they can’t even make a pre snap read and adjust routes or protections 95% of the time. What happens if the coach loses the Hot Dog card??? The offense won’t know what play to run! I know more traditonal Andrew Lucks aren’t in every draft, and RW is a once in lifetime who can put it ALL together (which is what I wanted to see when I asked the ‘is he really worth $20 million question) but there are no Ryans, Staffords, Flaccos, or Smiths- capable midrange guys whi can win a game here and there. Carr looks promising but Manuel, Newton, Kaepernick, Manziel, and Geno Smith all look lost and not like they are capable of leading a franchise. Are Braxton Miller, Boykin from TCU, Winston, Blake Sims and Brett Hundley what the NFL will be boiled down to? They are who are coming up the pipeline and it looks bleak

    • TwistedChopper

      Interesting comment, but if you look at other past drafts there have been years completely devoid of any good QB talent. Look at the 2002 draft. Is it a bad sign when I’m trying to determine who the best QB in that class was between David Carr, David Garrard, and Josh McCown?

      Just because the style of QBs are changing slightly to be more basic, doesn’t mean that the position is devolving into crap. It was crap at times even when the QBs weren’t doing basic one read offenses.

    • Rob Staton

      You are correct on Cardale Jones — he did say that. As for the QB’s — I think you have to be careful what you look for. I don’t see a pro QB in Miller, Boykin, Sims or Hundley. I try to look for the same things — arm talent, natural passing technique (release, throwing motion, spiral). Can you show any evidence of going through reads (doesn’t have to be brilliant here, just needs to show you can be developed). Do you lift your team? Can you elevate a side in college football? At the moment there is a DEARTH of good QB’s in college. I’m not a fan of Connor Cook. The Penn State guy has totally not developed. I’d be concerned if I was thinking of drafting a QB in the next 2-3 years. But we’ll see a wave of players coming through. We always do. We’ve been blessed recently with Luck, RGIII (pre-injuries), Newton, Wilson, Ryan, Flacco etc.

      • Volume 12

        Rob, you may have left out one of the most important traits in a QB.That’s POISE.

      • Jarhead

        It certainly seems we are in congruence on future QB talent. I hope it doesn’t dumb down the NFL game solely on what players NFL teams can plug in as there is no one else available. I do think that there will be more guys wanting to go to schools with pro style offenses so they can be better suited to play in the League because these Art Bryles\Kevin Sumlin offenses just bore me, as any athlete can be plugged in and run it. It defies the major tenants of the position: essentially everything you already mentioned. How many first round flops will have come out of FSU before pundits and draftniks realize that isn’t a program that breeds NFL ready QB’s. I feel that in many circumstances in college that production defies NFL talent

  12. James

    Rob, my advice would be to keep your eyes not on Mariota or Smith, but on the Oregon cheerleaders. That is truly elite talent.

    • Ho Lee Chit

      Watch closely and you will see some busted coverage on the backside of their formation.

    • Rob Staton

      A recommendation I endorse 🙂

  13. Carl

    Hey Rob, what do you think about Stanford’s Ty Montgomery?

    If we forego WR round 1, do you think he lasts until our pick in Round 2?
    Looks like he could immediately step into the KR/PR role and hopefully contribute as a pass catcher as well.

    • Rob Staton

      He’s shown real flashes of quality. But also a lot of inconsistency and there are things that worry me about his physique and ability to make plays with limited targets or totes. For me he’s a mid-rounder with some upside.

  14. rowdy

    It sounds like his leg is worse then just an acl. He could be looking at a year recovery depending on what else is wrong. Pete is always up beat but he’s seems worried about it. I would plan on not having next year at this point, as far as the draft and offseason.

    • Volume 12

      Yeah, I feel bad for the kid. He was really staring to come on and show us why they took him so high. I believe he’ll be back and better than ever.

      He’s been through this before, and it one of the reasons why Seattle likes taking guys who have dealt with and overcome adversity or multiple obstacles in their life.

      • rowdy

        I definitely think he has the mind to overcome it but the “it’s complicated” part makes me worry if his body can with maintaining his athleticism. All speculation of course because no one knows what he meant at this point.

    • Rob Staton

      It sounded like a real concern when PC spoke. Like it was more than the usual ACL.

  15. rowdy

    Very interesting add to the roster in bj Daniels! Pete mentioned kick return, receiving, running back and special teams as options for him. Doubt we see him much but he does seem like a special talent. Pete talked how it was a reward for how well/hard he’s done/work. They also been paying him full salary on the practice squad for month too. Says a lot.

    • Volume 12

      Very interesting indeed! His potential in the return game is what excites me.

      I still think Seattle is looking for that dynamic offensive weapon, like they had in WR Percy Harvin, but obviously without the headache’s and drama.

      Yes, they absolutely need a bigger WR, but with some of Seattle’s passing game being so ‘college esque,’ wouldn’t shock me in the least to see them take an athlete/offensive weapon and still add that big bodied wideout.

      • rowdy

        I wonder how much work he’s had with returning and such. I doubt they throw him out in the nfccg without much practice.

    • AlaskaHawk

      BJ Daniels might be used for a few trick plays like New England’s lateral and pass against the Ravens.

      • rowdy

        I agree but more of a keep the defense honest way. Not sure if he will get any touches. He was one of my favorite players to watch in college and would love to see him on the field. I’m glad they promoted him

      • Rob Staton

        I suspect they’ve been planning something for a while. Might’ve been saving it for the SB. He’s been working as a WR for a few weeks.

        • rowdy

          It will be interesting to see what happens with him. He compares to tate in the open field

        • TwistedChopper

          Has there ever been any word of Richard Sherman being used as a gimmick in the passing game? I think a lot of Seahawk fans (and basically any NFL fans in general) would absolutely love seeing this.

          Side note: I can’t seem to find any decent videos of Sherman playing WR at Stanford or High School. Can somebody give me a brief scouting description of his skills as a WR?

  16. Connor Jackson

    I know I’m just another fan like all of you but for whatever its worth… I live in LA and I have a buddy that works for Marshawn Lynch’s sports agency (Relativity Sports) and he laughed when I mentioned that Marshawn may retire… He said Marshawn isn’t retiring and that’s coming from Marshawn’s camp to gain leverage but that hes definitely not retiring after this season. He didn’t dismiss fact that he may not play in Seattle but he was confident Marshawn is in no way retiring. Again, were talking bout Marshawn so take that how you will but my buddy is pretty plugged in over there at relativity sports

    • Rob Staton

      Let’s hope that’s true. The increased spelling to end the year could be used for one more season I guess and it didn’t impact Lynch’s impact in games.

  17. Volume 12

    As big of a fan as I am of Ohio St WR Devin Smith and while I think he’d be a great fit for this team, if he has comparable skills to OBJ how does he make it to Seattle’s pick? He’s really the only ‘slot’ type WR in the 1st round this year. DeVante Parker, Kevin White, Amari Cooper, and really who else, maybe Sammie Coates and Rashad Greene? Those last 2 are more than likely 2nd or 3rd rounder’s. So with 4 legitimate 1st round WRs this year and Smith’s stock sky-rocketing and will only continue to after the combine, is he really going to be there at the end of round 1 or early 2nd round?

    • rowdy

      Your probably right, I remember last year at this time people would of said OBJ would of been a big reach for us In the first.

    • Rob Staton

      He has some comparable skills — but he’s not OBJ. Doesn’t have the unnaturally big hands for a start.

      • Volume 12

        Is this a guy who can only run 9 routes? No denying the athleticism, but I’ve yet to see that underneath stuff.

        • Rob Staton

          I think that’s an overrated feature. WR is such a tough position to learn unless you have supreme talent. Learning a route tree is inevitable for most WR’s.

  18. MJ

    I know this isn’t a Marcus Mariota article but after watching that game (and FSU); if I am an NFL GM, I’m really having second thoughts about taking him in the top 5.

    Mariota is a great kid and uber talented, but there is something missing when I watch him. He has NFL caliber tools and obviously is a great kid, but on the field, he has done little-to-nothing that translates to the NFL. The passing windows alone are going to be as shocking as going from a hot tub to a cold lake.

    This has been mentioned before, and is certainly not popular; but I find myself buying more and more into the narrative that he is not Alpha Male enough for the NFL. Yes, I know…our new touchy-feely world hates to hear about that, but there is something militaristic/brutal about football where guys have to absolutely buy into the guy leading them. I don’t care that Bill Gates was a geeky Beta Male, because starting/running a software company is nothing like playing a violent sport. As a caveat, I am not saying that Mariota is not tough, etc…it’s just his demeanor that I’m touching upon.

    I don’t want to get too deep into that, as I’m not trying to start a social debate about Males in society, but I am really curious to hear Rob’s/Others thoughts about this whole idea/speculation that Mariota is missing that quality. Am I alone? Do some of you see some hints of this? Do you think it’s overblown and stupid?

    • Ho Lee Chit

      Oregon got trounced. They lost at the LOS. When your linemen cannot win the battle with the man in front of them the LB’s can drop into coverage and double your WR’s. Mariotta’s performance last night was a function of how badly outmanned the Ducks were up front.

      Every year when the top picks emerge in the draft they become over analyzed. Everyone has a few weaknesses and NFL success is not guaranteed. Russell Wilson was too short and RG3 was going to set the NFL world on fire and create a new standard for an NFL QB. I think that process of over thinking this draft has begun. Would you prefer an Alpha Male like RG3 or someone who is a little more cerebral like Wilson?

      • MJ

        Need to clear something up:

        (1) I’m not saying Mariota lost the game. Not at all. Yes, Ohio State was clearly better at the LOS and quite honestly, it wasn’t even a close game if you take away a bunch of OSU turnovers. I’m simply commenting on how I thought he looked, played, and my interpretation of how he “led.” Outside of statistics, my view is clearly subjective. Not claiming it to be gospel.

        (2) I agree…it’s time for overanalyzing and it’s just the nature of the NFL Draft. That said, many of these “talking points,” start as a result of something that is actually somewhat true. How true is the real question, hence me positing such a question in the previous comment.

        (3) Is RGIII an alpha male? Just because he can talk a good game at the podium doesn’t mean that translates to on the field. I’m not saying he isn’t Alpha, but I am not saying he is (either). Conversely, just because RW isn’t brash at Press Conferences, doesn’t mean he isn’t commanding/demanding in the huddle and on the sidelines.

        (4) Being an Alpha, by no means disqualifies someone from being cerebral. Is Tom Brady not cerebral just because he is brash and doesn’t hold back? He’s a guy with legendary work ethic and allegedly has everything planned for years at a time. Conversely, Alpha doesn’t mean that you get in people’s faces. It’s simply a commanding presence that isn’t defined by one certain trait (ie Loud, brash, smart, etc). I think for those who are not Type A personalities, they tend to view Alphas as the “shoot from the hip” variety. As in, they lack a genuine/analytical thought process about what they are doing. I don’t think this is accurate.

        I’m really approaching this as a talking point, because I do think it has merit. I simply used Mariota as an example because a) he’s relevant right now; and b) this issue has been speculated on about him (in particular).

        I think the beauty of being a good QB/Leader, is that there is no defined characteristic that makes one great. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Russell Wilson are all “Alpha” in their own way. Brady is the ultimate competitor. Manning is uber cerebral and highly demanding of “preparation.” RW is the quiet in the storm, whose intensity is clearly evident in his look on the sideline (and I’m sure in the huddle). The common trait among all 3 is that they are clearly leaders and their teammates buy into that.

        Again, I’m not saying Mariota doesn’t have that, but I do think the conversation is warranted, as we have seen many talented QBs who have failed bc they simply lack “it.” And yes, “it” is such a nebulous concept, but I think everybody will admit, there is something about the great ones in which this is present.

        • JeffC

          This is tough to quantify, since you are exploring a human variable. By all intents and purposes, RG3 looked like a great leader in college. His interviews, ability, production, deference to his teammates, everything smacked “great humble leader far beyond his years.” I remember scouts saying they loved him as a person. Now he’s encountered struggle and failure, and all you hear about now is that he’s a diva, selfish, stubborn, unwilling to change, etc. There were some people who thought seattle had Blaine Gabbert on the radar and we’ve all seen how he completely folded under the pressure of NFL qb’ing.

          In my opinion I think Mariota will be judged as mega talented, successful in college, a nice kid who comes with no personal baggage – but can he go thru progressions in a pro style offense. I don’t know if the idea that he is a true leader can be gleaned from two games or from a twenty minute interview.

          As a 52 year old, and knowing myself in my 20’s, I would say that it is very hard to get a concrete judgement of character on men in their 20’s. They are still mentally developing. I think Russell Wilson is the exception and there aren’t many like him out there. If I were an NFL GM I would not use Russell Wilson as a baseline of leadership when judging other prospects, because I think Wilson is that rare of a person – and I have no way of knowing that personally, so there you go.

          • MJ

            Excellent, excellent stuff. This is what I was hoping to inspire with that post.

            This is what makes the NFL Draft so fascinating to me. It’s a total gamble and there are variables, often near impossible to “scout,” that seemingly make a huge difference in who makes it or who doesn’t.

            Taking a step further, there is just something about a Quarterback, that is unlike anything else, in any other sport, which is why it is so intriguing to hear others opinions on the matter, especially regarding the Draft. I’m still torn on Mariota, but it’s awesome to hear the rationale from those who think he will absolutely succeed, and those who think he will ultimately fail.

            And yes, RW is the exception and a horrible “bar” to set to judge others, BUT, the truly (consistently) great QBs are so rare/hard to find, that it makes this type of mind game so fun to play. Because ultimately, you are trying to define and identify an intangible that makes these types of great QBs “click.” Great stuff.

      • Rob Staton

        It wasn’t a good advert for any of those Oregon O-liners.

      • Volume 12

        Your right. The only thing that separates, say in this instance, a 1st round QB from a 3rd QB is one team’s, one GMs, one HC’s poi ion of them.

        • Volume 12

          Edit should say *opinion

    • AlaskaHawk

      Are you kidding me when you say he has done nothing that shows he can make it as a pro? His touchdown to interception is up there with Luck and Wilson in their college days. He will be the number one pick and rightly so. The big question is if he will be ruined by an under whelming team that won’t provide adequate pass protection. That is the eternal issue with rookie QBs on bad teams.

      And where do you get this Alpha Male stuff? A winner is a winner and teammates know that.

      • MJ

        “Little to nothing that translates to the NFL,” is referencing the type of offense he plays in and the caliber of the talent on his team, as opposed to his common opposition. His offense is extraordinarily gimmicky and he, though accurate, has hardly made throws into tight windows. All of this changes at the NFL. It’s legitimate question if you are being honest with yourself.

        You seem to gloss over the fact that I said, “he is uber talented and has NFL caliber tools.” It would be nice if people could actually read the entirety of a talking point, rather than picking and choosing excerpts out of context. I say this, because I wrote that as a talking point, not a childish, “you’re wrong, I’m right.” He’s a very talented, good kid (as I said, if you cared to read the post in an unemotional manner).

        College stats are meaningless if not taken into proper context. His stats are otherwordly…so is his offensive scheme and the talent on his team. His stats shouldn’t be disqualified, but they should be taken with a grain of salt. How is he obtaining such great stats? Is he working under center going through NFL Progressions and routes? Or his he throwing a bunch of bubble screens or passes to guys who are open by 5+ yards? Luck and Wilson were on great college teams that ran Pro Style offenses.

        Regarding the “Alpha Male” deal…this isn’t me making it up. There was a lot of speculation during the season that you can find on places like Rotoworld, etc, where scouts (albeit anonymous) made statements like this. I, originally thought this was stupid, but started paying closer attention to this idea, and over the last few months, I have given more credence to this idea (all completely subjective, admittedly). PLEASE READ THIS: I’M NOT SAYING HE IS OR IS NOT AN ALPHA MALE. I’M SIMPLY CREATING A TALKING POINT ABOUT THIS, NOT ONLY SPECIFICALLY REGARDING MARIOTA, BUT QBS IN GENERAL.

        These things are fun to debate if you actually let others have an opinion, which is all I’m claiming to have.

        • Volume 12

          If QB James Winston aces his interviews after the combine, doesn’t bomb at the combine, says all the right things and stays out of trouble, he’ll be picked before QB Mariota.

          • AlaskaHawk

            I don’t think Winston is as good as Mariota, especially under pressure. I don’t think Winston deserves more then a third round pick, but I’m sure he will go higher. Of the two it seems like Mariota is more accurate. But they both had a very awkward looking fumble when they were scrambling. If you like alpha males, Winston is your man, just lock up the women as I predict he will make headlines in a bad way.

            • Volume 12

              I’m not a huge fan of QB James Winston personally, but if were being realistic some NFL team and GM will take him high, regardless if it’s an awful decision IMO. QB Johnny Manziel did no no. 22 overall, don’t ask me why, but I think Winston has more upside and is better than Manziel was. Same type of attitude as well, which would scare me off.

              • AlaskaHawk

                Yes I agree that he has more physical talents then Manziel and will go in the first. The best thing for him would be some QB training for a year to prep him for NFL speed.

    • TwistedChopper

      Bill Gates has some traits that might be commonly associated with Beta males, but if you actually knew more information about him you’d know that he is definitely an Alpha male. He was/is a fantastic leader.

  19. Madmark

    I know he had a fumble in the game but, I would look a little closer at Jalin Marshall as a 3rd or later round pick. I think he could be a super surprise making the team as punt returner and backup receiver who could be really developed.

  20. CHawk Talker Eric

    So when will Zeke Elliot declare?

    • Johnny

      He’s eligible for the 2016 draft, I believe. National pundits are already marking him as an RB1 next year. Definitely worth keeping an eye on depending on how the ‘Hawks want to address the RB position. The perfect situation would be if Marshawn stays on for at least another year and then we draft Zeke next year. From what I saw in the Championship game yesterday, he’s a phenomenal talent.

      • Volume 12

        Very talented indeed! Another HB to keep an eye on regarding next year’s draft is Arkansas HB Alex Collins. That kid is a load! Runs balanced, runs behind his pads, there’s no as Tom Cable would say ‘stomping snakes,’ the kid is a real deal, legit NFL back. Once he gets into an NFL weight and training program, guys will be sacred to try and tackle him.

        • TwistedChopper

          Would the Seahawk allow him to keep that short jersey that shows his abdominal area? Call me old fashioned (or possibly something else), but I kind of like it. Reminds me of the 90’s where teams like Nebraska and UW were rocking it consistently.

          • AlaskaHawk

            Count me in as a person who loves Elliot, unfortunately he will be picked in the top 20. Wish it were this year with other great running backs to choose from, then we would have a chance to get him.

    • Rob Staton

      Fair question. Urban Meyer says not but who knows?

  21. Ralphy

    Rob. WR was already a huge need but now it’s probably at the top with the Richardson injury. What FAs do you see being on the Hawks radar? We would all love Dez or Thomas but that isn’t likely.

    • John_s

      Here’s a list of upcoming free agents


    • Rob Staton

      It’ll be hard to attract a free agent WR to Seattle due to the lack of targets. They’d have to overpay. I think the best veteran option is a trade and contract restructure with Vincent Jackson.

      • Volume 12

        WR DeSean Jackson? West coast guy, great relationship with Lynch and Sherm, and may be getting to the point in his career where he wants a shot at a ring and knows in order to do that he may have to take a pay-cut/discount.

        • Rob Staton

          I think they would’ve gone after him last year if the Harvin trade never happened. I doubt he leaves Washington.

      • Kory

        Rob, what do you think about Sidney Rice coming out of retirement? Could it be he just needed a year off? He fits our system better than anyone. I know it’s unusual, but maybe there’s a chance?

        • Rob Staton

          I think it’s very unlikely given concussion issues were at play.

          • Ralphy

            Yeah I know who’s on the list. I was just wondering who Rob sees as the type of player the Hawks would potentially target.

          • Kory

            Did he get concussed during training camp? He was planning on playing this year and then retired out of the blue. That’s why I think he might still have a desire for another go at it.

  22. CHawk Talker Eric

    Hey Rob, how about a dedicated post to Random Thoughts?

    Here’s a start:

    Great article on SBN about KC, from which I pull the best quote in a long time.

    Kam Chancellor is “powered by Lithium-ion and nightmares.”

    True dat.

  23. Volume 12

    Since this is a post on an athletic/speedy WR, can I bang the table again and bring up a guy who I think is one of the more unique WRs to enter the league in a few years. I was discussing him with rowdy on the last post.

    Baylor WR Antwan Goodley: 5’10, 225 lbs., runs a 4.39-4.43 40 yard dash, 39′ vertical, 10’9 broad jump, squats 670 lbs., and is rumored to put up 20-25 reps on the bench press. 2014 stats: 60 rec., 830 yds., 6 TDs, but was bothered for much of the year by a quad injury. 2013 stats: 71 rec., 1,339 yds., 13 TDs!

    This kid is an athletic freak with the production to back it, was a former basketball player too. Is said to potentially be this year’s version of HB Christine Michael at the WR position. He’s a HB in a WRs body (played HB in High School). He’s got WR Golden Tate’s height in a WR Anquan Bolden type body. And like Tate he turns into a HB with the ball in his hands. Breaks tackles and tough to bring down, especially in the open field.

    Has fantastic body control, good sized hands, is extremely gritty and competitive, has game breaking speed, can play on the outside or in the slot, a little experience in the return game, he’s tough/pretty physical. Now, he’s a bit raw, but that’s okay because what player that Seattle has ever drafted outside of maybe OL Russell Okung wasn’t?

    Also has a fantastic back-story/lived through adversity and overcame it. Something we know Seattle seems to look for. He grew up extremely poor outside of Dallas, Texas and grew up without his dad who was in jail throughout his childhood on trafficking charges. His dad finally got to see him play just this year. Goodley forgave his dad, put that shit behind him, and now they’re repairing their relationship. Goodley also has a son or two, therefore he plays motivated and is highly mature. He’s a ‘yes sir, no sir’ type of guy. Big on family too.

    WR Antwan Goodley could be used on the gadget plays like they used with WR Percy Harvin and seem to be missing. Recently promoted ATH/OW BJ Daniels, kind of gives me the sense that they’re still looking for this type of weapon. IMO Goodley will rise up the draft boards into a 3rd round pick, but I’d take him in the early 2nd. They can still address that big bodied WR in this draft as well. If all their asking out of that big WR is to be a red zone weapon and 3rd down target, wouldn’t it be more prudent to take that guy in the mid rounds and with their first 2 picks take game-changing or field tilting type athletes?

    Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to bring this guy to people’s attention who may otherwise not know much about him. His highlight tape from last year on YouTube by the way is very exciting. He’s extremely unique and would look great in the College Navy, Wolf Grey, and Northwest Green.

    • Attyla the Hawk

      Excellent prospect.

      One that I had hoped to highlight but you beat me to the punch. He should really appeal at the interview process. A player who has all of the unique tools that attracted Seattle to Tate, for whom they had a first round grade on.

      Goodley has significantly less shiftiness than Tate did. But much better speed and route running ability. He consistently gains separation at full speed with use of subtle moves to direct the DB’s hips. Those are tools that can immediately translate at the next level. His hands are not great. Not unlike Tate who had drops issues his first year and a half here.

      He has far superior burst and acceleration than Tate. He is a much better breakaway threat than Tate was. But he doesn’t seem to really have Tate’s YAC ability. Tate was so great at slithering out of opponents grasp and ducking under or around hits so that tacklers didn’t get a square hit on him. I don’t see that with Goodley at all. He looks like a faster WR variant of Robert Turbin in that regard. Stout. Strong. But he’s going to get hit square more often than not.

      I really like him for his KR potential. He’s a guy who, if he can demonstrate ball security, could be an excellent return option.

      • Volume 12

        Thanks Attila glad you like him as well. I was just saying that him and Tate both have that ability to turn in to HBs with the ball in their hands. Your right, different WRs, which is what makes him attractive. Seattle scouts attended at least 3 Baylor, so you know they got a good look at him.

        Yes, he my get hit more square often than not, but with that build it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he uses that to hid advantage to truck defenders, and wear out DBs with his physicality. Hence why he’s like a HB in a Wes body. And the ability to not only sink his hips, but the defenders as well is one of the biggest/most important aspects to look for when scouting WR prospects.

        This kid’s one of the more exciting prospects at his respective position and right now is my surprise pick for Seattle in the first or early second.

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